Big Polluters Gunning for the Clean Air Act

As we reported yesterday, President Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency is taking steps under the Clean Air Act to cut down on the air pollution that causes smog and triggers asthma among other serious health problems.

Its public health benefits are exactly what has made the Clean Air Act popular with Americans for decades.

This smog-reducing initiative was not the only recent move Obama’s EPA has made under the Clean Air Act to protect us and our atmosphere from pollutants. Last month, the EPA finally issued its official ruling that greenhouse gas emissions endanger human health and welfare, a finding that compels the agency to regulate those emissions under the Clean Air Act.

Predictably, big polluters are now on the offensive to protect their profits, and their allies in Congress are only too happy to help them.

The Senate will soon vote on the Murkowski Amendment, so called because it was proposed by Alaskan Senator Lisa Murkowski on behalf of big polluters. The amendment would prohibit, for one year, the EPA from regulating greenhouse-gas emissions from stationary sources like power plants and industrial facilities, while allowing it to regulate average citizens driving to work. The amendment — currently scheduled for a vote January 20 — was proposed as what’s called a “rider” on a completely unrelated bill, one intended to raise the ceiling on U.S. public debt.

This is a blatant and concerted effort by polluting industries and their allies in Congress to gut the Clean Air Act and delay efforts to reduce GHG emissions. We’ve got to stop them.

We can’t let polluting industries lock us in to several more years of dirty fossil fuels. We need policies that will move us toward taking the actions necessary to stop global warming and kickstart an energy revolution, not policies that strip us of one of the key tools we have available for reining in emissions.

You can help by writing to your Senator and letting them know that you expect them to represent you, not polluters, and that you expect them to vote against Murkowski’s big polluter amendment.

Photo courtesy of Greenpeace

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